"When did you leave?"
"Before Mrs toldya's hens cried."
"Around dawn, then?"
"If you say so."
"When did you get here?"
"The same time the sun pushed them clouds away."
"I don't know, lady."
"It's okay. How did you find the wagon?"
"'Twas all suzy's idea."
"Suzy brought the wagon?"
"Did she steal it?"
"So how did she get it?"
"I don't know."
"You'll have to work with me ,Willy."
"Your friends are with the other officers telling their stories. I advice you do the same and leave out any lies, okay?"
"I ain't telling no lies."
"I'm sure you think that. But forgive me if I say your story just doesn't sound like the truth."
"Okay. Will you at least tell me the truth?"
"I been telling you the truth all day long! It was Suzy's idea to leave the farm. She rounded Melly and me and we snuck into the wagon. I don't know nothing bout no man who got shot. I ain't never even seen a gun!"
"Listen, Willy. Up until the point where you snuck out, the story matches what your friends say. The fiction starts from the point you leave the town. Melly says you got to the city and the driver parked beside the body. Suzy says she didn't see anything till we came. You say—"
"I didn't see or touch no dead man!"
"But there's blood on your shirt."
"I don't know where the hell from!"
"You can hear why we don't believe you, right?"
"I'm telling the truth."
"And I want to believe you."
"That's a bloody lie right there."
"It's Willy. And ain't nothing you grown ups care about than being right. That's your truth. Nothing we kids say gonna make a difference. You just wanna lock us up and go on with your damned day."
"You don't truly think all adults are that way , do you?"
"They sure damned are."
"Is that why you ran away?"
"I ran cause Suzy said it."
"So you do whatever suzy says?"
"I do what I want and I wanted to do what suzy said."
"Willy, a man is dead, you need to help us. This is someone's husband we're talking about, people's father."
"Ain't nobody gave a damn when my daddy died."
"Why? You didn't kill him. Like I didn't kill this sir."
"I'm not saying you did. But so far you and your friends are the only on-site witness' we have—"
"So you gon' lock up a buncha kids cause you don't know who to place blame?"
"That's not it."
"You grown up sure know how to make yourselves look good."
"Willy, this isn't about me. All I'm doing is trying to solve the case and help you and your friends out this mess. For that I need your cooperation."
"I been cooperating."
"Fine. Are you sure you're not going to say anything more? Are you sure you didn't see anything?"
"We were all squished at the back. Hay in our eyes, all good and hidden from the driver. We didn't see or hear no man dying. If it ain't for Melly's stupid nose , no way you and your officers would have found us."
"What about smell? Didn't you smell his body?"
"You forgetting I come from a farm? Ain't nothing fouler than cows shit. The man could be dead two years and it ain't bother me."
"Okay I understand. You didn't see anything, neither did you smell or hear."
"We getting somewhere."
"So, why are you here? Before you ran away, where did suzy say you were going to stay? Does she have family here? What was the plan, Willy?"
"You best go ask suzy."
"I thought you didn't listen to suzy? Or is that me being wrong again?"
"You sure got a lotta questions."
"And so far you haven't answered any to my satisfaction."
"Listen lady. All suzy said was we were gonna get to the city. We ain't talk about nothing more."
"Were you going to sleep in the wagon for the rest of your lives? You have to say something willy. If I let you free right this moment, where are you going? What's your plan?"
"Ain't got one."
"I don't think you're that stupid."
"You go on and think all you want."
"You're telling me you have nowhere to go?"
"Only family I have is tilling wheat beds back at the farm."
"Do you have money?"
"Where do you expect I get that from?"
"Were you planning on stealing?"
"My ma raised no thief."
"Do you have food?"
"Haven't eaten since yesterday's moon."
"You have nothing."
"Willy, you have no family ,no food, no transportation and no money in a city you've never been to."
"Do you understand that you're stranded?"
"It means you're left without the means to move from this point."
"My leg's all the means I need."
"What is wrong with you!"
"What is wrong with me?"
"You're not alright!"
"I feel fine."
"You're obviously not. Your family back at the farm, don't you know they'd be worried?"
"The last thing my ma told me was she don't care if I died like my doggy. "
"You can't seriously believe that."
"She said 'frankly my dear, I don't give a damn'. Not a smile on sight. My ma's no actress."
"And you thought the best thing was running away?"
"Now you getting it!"
"No, I am not getting it! Can't you see how wrong this is?"
"If you worried 'bout me being all stranded and shit, It don't really matter. Just let me and my friends go. We know how to survive. Why you stressing?"
"You're barely fourteen."
"And you don't look a day over thirty."
"Do you really believe this smart mouth of yours can keep you alive?"
"Works at the farm."
"Willy , what you did is dangerous and highly irresponsible! You could have gotten yourself killed, or thrown into a childrens factory for labour!"
"What you know about labour?"
"Just because you have more calloused fingers than I do doesn't give you the right to look down on any of the hard work I've done. "
"Ain't nobody looking down on no body. You been asking questions all day, and now I asked mine. You didn't see me getting all pissed about it."
"How can't you see the severity of your actions?"
"That you don't want to be helped!"
"I've only been saying that all day."
"Fine. If that's what you want. Goodbye, willy."
"If you gon' lock me up , can I at least ask a favor."
"What is it?"
"Tell ma I ain't sorry."